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Tajikistan: Company Finds Significant Gold Deposits

Washington, 17 April 1997 (RFE/RL) - The Western partner in a gold mining and processing joint venture in Tajikistan says it has found "significant gold" deposits in an area 35 kilometers southeast of its current operations in the Zeravshan Valley.

London-based Nelson Gold Corporation says it dug a series of trenches in the Shing-Maghian mineralised belt during 1996 and found "very promising results."

The company says the area was checked by Soviet-era geologists, but they focused on antimony and mercury potential, not gold.

Nelson Gold is a 49 percent owner, with the government of Tajikistan, of the Zeravshan Gold Company, which produced nearly 53,000 ounces of gold in 1996. It estimates the potential there at nearly six million ounces, with other regional deposits containing a potential of almost 14 million ounces of gold.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) says Tajikistan is rich in mineral resources and is poised to become a leading world producer of gold.